BOB LIND-MAGELLAN WAS WRONG.

BOB LIND-MAGELLAN WAS WRONG.

It was in 1966, when Bob Lind released his critically acclaimed debut album Don’t Be Concerned, on World Pacific Records. One of the songs on Don’t Be Concerned, was the song that launched Bob Lind’s career, Elusive Butterfly. 

It was released as Bob Lind’s debut single in 1965, not long he signed to World Pacific Records, a subsidiary Liberty Records. When Elusive Butterfly was released in December 1965, it gave Bob Lind a top ten hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Elusive Butterfly reached number five in the US Billboard 100, but number five in the UK. This was just the start of the Bob Lind’s career.

By then, Bob Lind was twenty-three. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland on November 25th 1942. However, by 1965, Bob Lind was about to embark upon a career that would see him define and shape the folk-rock genre.

In 1966, Bob Lind released his debut album Don’t Be Concerned. It was released to widespread critical acclaim, and reached 148 in the US Billboard 200. For a new artist, in the folk rock genre, where most albums didn’t sell in the same quantities as those by pop and rock artists,  this was regarded as a success. So World Pacific Records decided to build upon this success.

Bob Lind returned to the recording studio and recorded his sophomore album Photographs Of Feeling. It was scheduled for release in April 1966. Before that, Remember The Rain was released as a single, but reached just number forty-six in the US Billboard 100 and sixty-four in the UK. Compared to the transatlantic top ten hit Elusive Butterfly, this was have disappointing. So must have been Photographs Of Feeling failing to chart. Despite the positive reviews, of Photographs Of Feeling it never came close to troubling the charts. Despite this, a third Bob Lind album was released in 1966.

This was The Elusive Bob Lind, which was released on Verve Folkways. It featured five songs penned by Bob Lind; plus covers of Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’ and the traditional song Hey Nellie Nellie. It was chosen as a single, and released later in May 1966, but failed to chart. For Bob Lind, this was disappointing. He was about to release his third album of 1966, The Elusive Bob Lind.

Prior to the release of The Elusive Bob Lind, critics were fulsome in their praise of the album. Especially, Bob Lind’s songwriting skills, his unique vocal and how he could breath life, meaning and emotion into a song. Despite the praise, The Elusive Bob Lind received, the album failed to chart. With two albums consecutive albums failing to chart, it was a worrying time for Bob Lind. Maybe, his single would get his ailing career back on track?

There was a problem though. With Bob Lind’s last two albums had been released on different labels, they were essentially competing against each other. Five singles were released between April and October 1966.

World Pacific Record released I Just Let It Take Me as second single from, Photographs Of Feeling later in June 1966. It stalled at 123 in the US Billboard 100. For Bob Lind, it was a case of close but no cigar. Especially when San Francisco Woman, was released as the third and final single from Photographs Of Feeling. However, when it was released in August 1966, it reached just 135 in the US Billboard 100. Bob Lind it seemed, was out of luck.

Despite this, Verve Folkways Records decided to release White Snow from The Elusive Bob Lind. This was just the second single released from the album. It was released in October 1966, but failed to trouble the charts. After four consecutive singles failing to chart in the US Billboard 100, 

Bob Lind must have been wondering about his immediate future? He certainly wouldn’t have believed anyone who told him in fifty years time, his career would still be going strong, and he would’ve just released a new album. That is the case though. 

Recently, Bob Lind released Magellan Was Wrong on Big Beat Records, an imprint of Ace Records. Magellan Was Wrong is the much anticipated followup to 2012s Finding You Again. Bob Lind is a survivor, whose career has spanned six decades. That looked unlikely in the sixties.

After the roller coaster year that was 1966, Bob Lind continued to play live. He was still a popular draw, and had been since the earliest days of his career.Then in the spring of 1967, Bob Lind returned to the studio. This time, he only recorded two singles. Maybe World Pacific Records were being cautious, and wanted to gauge the success these singles? The first single, It’s Just My Love was released in April 1967, but failed to chart. Eight months later, Goodbye Neon Lies was released in 1967, but failed to chart. Little did anyone realise that Goodbye Neon Lies was Bob Lind’s World Pacific Records’ swan-song?

By 1969, Bob Lind, like many singers and musicians had developed a taste for the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. He battled drug and alcohol addiction. To make matters worse, Bob Lind was regarded as difficult to work with. That was the case with many artists. However, if the delivered the goods, this record companies saw as the cost of doing business with an artist. Sadly, by 1969, Bob Lind had neither released a single for two years, nor an album for three. There was no sign of any music on the horizon. Despite this, very few people would’ve forecast that Bob Lind would decided to walk away from his contract with World Pacific Records in 1969.

Having severed his ties from World Pacific Records, very little was heard of Bob Lind. While he still played live, he never released any music between 1967 and 1971. That was when Bob Lind resurfaced, and signed a contract with Capitol Records. 

Not long after this, Bob Lind entered the studio for the first time in four years. He recorded what became Since There Were Circles, Bob Lind’s Capitol Records’ debut album. It was scheduled for release later in 1971. 

Before the release of Bob Lind’s comeback album, critics had their say on Since There Were Circle. The album was well received, and maybe, Bob Lind’s luck was changing. Alas, that wasn’t the case.

In September 1971, She Can Get Along was released as the lead single from Since There Were Circles. However, She Can Get Along failed to chart. This didn’t augur well for the release of Since There Were Circles. It also failed to chart, and this marked the end of Bob Lind’s time at Capitol Records.

Not long after leaving Capitol Records, Bob Lind turned his back on music. Bob Lind wasn’t the first, and certainly wouldn’t the last to walk away from music. 

During the wilderness years, Bob Lind befriended writer Charles Bukowski. They struck up a close friendship. So much so, that Charles Bukowski immortalised the singer-songwriter in his 1978 book Women. Bob Lind was the inspiration for the character Dinky Summers, who would regularly reappear in Charles Bukowski’s work. Ten years after Women was published, Bob Lind became a writer.

Bob Lind decided in 1988 to follow the sun, and headed to Florida. That was where he embarked upon a new career, as a writer. The move to Florida, and career change proved successful. Not only did Bob Lind write five novels, but a stage play and the award winning screenplay Refuge. It went on to win the prestigious Florida Screenwriters’ Competition in 1991. This must have been the pinnacle of Bob Lind’s career as a writer.

Later in his writing career, Bob Lind spent eight years as  a staff writer at the supermarket tabloids Weekly World News and The Sun. This was very different from writing novels, screenplays or a stage play. The content was marketed as satirical and sensationalist, but often fell foul of the privacy laws. For Bob Lind, this must have seemed like a far cry from his days as a musician? Maybe Bob Lind would even consider a comeback?

Thirty-three years after turning his back on music in 1971, Bob Lind had a change of heart in 2004. He was persuaded folk singer Arlo Guthrie, the son of Woody Guthrie, to make a comeback. The venue that was chosen was the Guthrie Center in Becket, Massachusetts. 

That night, Bob Lind’s love of playing live was rekindled. Soon, the sixty-two year old and Arlo Guthrie were heading out on tour. Since then, they’ve continued to tour. Bob Lind was back.

Since his comeback in 2004, three’s been two of Bob Lind’s albums have been reissued. The first came in 2006, when RPM Records, an imprint of Ace Records released Since There Were Circles. Later in 2006, Bob Lind self-released his first live album Live At The Luna Star Cafe It featured the first new material Bob Lind had released since 1971. Then in 2007, RPM Records, released Elusive Butterfly: The Complete 1966 Jack Nitzsche Session. Suddenly, a whole new audience were discovering Bob Lind’s music.

Over the next few years, interest in Bob Lind’s music began to grow. However, within the music industry, many artists and groups were familiar with Bob Lind’s songs, and had covered them. This included luminaries like Eric Clapton, Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin and The Four Tops. They’re just a few of the artists who have covered Bob Lind’s music, and helped spread the word about one of music’s best kept secrets.

With Bob Lind’s profile rising, cinematographer Paul Surratt finished  a DVD about Bob Lind. It was a documentary, which also featured Bob Lind in concert. Bob Lind: Perspective was released in 2009, and introduced the singer-songwriter to a wider audience. However, there was still one thing Bob Lind hadn’t done since his comeback, release a new album.

Bob Lind rectified this in 2012. He had returned to the studio with The Spongetones’ guitarist Jamie Hoover. He produced what would become Bob Lind’s first album since Since There Were Circles was released in 1971. Forty-one years later, Finding You Again was released on Big Beat Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records. Finding You Again was released to critical acclaim, and marked a welcome return to form from the seventy year old folk-rock pioneer. Now that Bob Lind had found his audience again, the big question was, when would there be followup to Finding You Again?

For Magellan Was Wrong, Bob Lind wrote eleven new tracks and decided to cover Yom Paxton’s Bottle Of Wine. These songs were arranged and produced by Jamie Hoover. He also plays many of the instruments on Magellan Was Wrong. Bob Lind plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar and adds synth horns and vocals.  Augmenting Jamie Hoover and Bob Lind, were a few musicians who added overdubs in two studios in Fort Worth, Miami. Once the songs, were complete, they became the much-antipated Magellan Was Wrong.

Opening Magellan Was Wrong, is I Don’t Know How To Love You. An urgently strummed guitar joins the rhythm section in driving the arrangement along. The bass like the piano is played slowly and carefully. Meanwhile, Bob Lind’s vocal is impassioned, needy and emotive. Espeically as he sings: “is there a secret code that I can steal, to bring your passion back, to make you feel, to make you see in me, the man you once knew.” Desperation fills vocal as he asks, begs “how can I pull you back, what can I do.” Soon, this paean is unfolding, and Bob ruefully reflects: “I don’t know how I lost you” and later, “I Don’t Know How To Love You, maybe I never did.” Jamie Hoover’s adds instruments at just the right time. Whether it’s the guitar, mandolin or piano, they compliment Bob on this soul-baring ballad.

You Are Home is a a song about the war veterans, who were wrongly imprisoned, and often, were tortured and left traumatised. Now they’re free, and are home with people who love and care for them. A slow, sultry tenor saxophone gives way to Bob’s vocal. He’s constantly reassuring: “you’re safe now, back with the ones that love you…you are back with the ones that love you. Meanwhile, the rhythm section, piano and guitar provide a subtle backdrop. Bob’s vocal is heartfelt and full of sincerity, while saxophone winds its way above the arrangement. It’s not overpowering, and again, compliments Bob’s vocal. When the vocal drops out, the sultry saxophone takes centre-stage and proves the perfect way to closes this beautiful, thought-provoking ballad.

Never Even There is a jazz-tinged song, where Bob scats as a chiming guitar, subtle drums and piano combine. A brief guitar solo gives way Bob’s vocal. He’s soon delivering lyrics that will ring true with many men. They spent too much time doing other things, and not spending time with their partner. Then one day; “she’ll leave you, like you were never even there.” After Bob delivers, that lyric, a jazz guitar returns. That’s until Bob dawns the role of agony uncle. He advices how to stop this happening, and tells what will happen to a man that doesn’t follow his advice,

Washes of Hammond organ give way to a stomping, pounding beat on Magellan Was Wrong. By then, Bob’s painting pictures with his lyrics. Meanwhile, a piano and harmonies accompany him. After years of believing that if something was possible, then it was achievable, he’s lost faith. Frustration fills his voice as he sings: “Magellan Was Wrong, this world is flat sometimes,”  on this carefully crafted, hook-laden anthem.

The tempo drops on I Turn To You, a piano lead ballad. In the song, Bob plays tribute to the garage and strength of women. Mostly, it’s a wife or girlfriend a man turns to, when times get tough. As the piano plays, Bob sings: “I Turn To You…because you’re braver than I’ll ever be…you stand up strong against my despair.” Behind him, one of the biggest arrangement unfolds. A piano, drums and later a searing guitar play leading roles. Everything is played by Jamie Hoover. This leaves Bob to give thanks, as the arrangement builds and grows on this poignant ballad.

Bottle Of Wine was written by Tom Paxton, and since then, has been an oft=covered song. Just two acoustic guitars and a mandolin open the song, before Bob begins to deliver the heartbreaking lyrics. There’s desperation in Bob’s vocal as he pleads: “Bottle Of Wine fruit of the vine, when will let me get sober?” It’s a battle Bob in the song sounds desperate to win, but sadly, he’s  still “holding his Bottle Of Wine.”

My Friend is another poignant song, where Bob reflects that each day we grow older, the sands of time are running dry. The piano is at the heart of the arrangement, while the rhythm section play subtly. Together, they frame Bob’s vocal. He’s in a reflective mood, looking back at life with his partner at the good times and the bad. Sadly, pride and years of disappointment have driven a wedge between them. Again, there’s a jazz influence to the slow, meandering arrangement. A piano takes the lead, and is joined by a drums and a jazz guitar. Then Bob asks: we’re not here long, must we be strangers in these candle days, and when the final darkness falls, these bitter moments to pride will look small.” These lyrics makes this a truly poignant, moving and beautiful song.

Cooing harmonies and the rhythm section open From The Road. Already, it’s obvious something special is unfolding. They’re joined by Bob’s joyous, hopeful vocal. Punchy harmonies accompany Bob, while the piano, drums and stabs of horns combine. Hooks haven’t been spare on a truly irresistible paean, that Bob dedicates to Jan. She’s lucky to have such a great song written and dedicated to her.

As You, Lola, You! unfolds, Bob delivers another scat. Meanwhile, his band deliver a jaunty, jazzy, mid-tempo arrangement. Bob showcases her versatility as he delivers a jazzy vocal, on this celebration love and being in love.

The sound of David Hubbard’s tenor saxophone opens The Outsider’s Dream. It gives way to the rhythm section and guitar. They accompany Bob’s vocal; as he sings about “a man who dreamed a dream.” As a subtle, tenor saxophone rasps, Bob delivers the cinematic lyrics that tell of a perfect life. “He had a knack for how to live” There’s a twist though: “and from some place outside himself, he saw his funeral passing by, mourned by souls he mattered to.” By then, the arrangement has grown, and provides a fitting backdrop for Bob: “the night passed by and took the dream.” It was then he realised that there was: “something more to get, that tiny tinges of regret.” These he would never forget. Although he keeps the world at bay, he feels these tinges to this day.” Just like so many songs on Magellan Was Wrong, it’s a truly poignant and reflective where Bob brings the lyrics to life.

Blind Love finds the tempo rise, and features a country influence. Again, there’s a cinematic quality to the lyrics. Guitars, synth strings and the rhythm section propel the arrangement along, as Bob remembers and reflects, on the love he once knew. Sadly, it was “Blind Love, and caused pain that even time can’t heal. Bob longs for a chance to turn back the clock, and never make the same mistake again. 

A Break In The Rain closes Magellan Was Wrong. It also features the ethereal beauty of coloratura soprano Arbel Martin. She’s the perfect foil for Bob, as he reflects that whatever life throws at people, the earth keeps on turning. 

Hw reminds us: “there will be A Break In The Rain, sun in our windows, gardens and lanes, dawn will break and light our way home.” Augmenting Bob and Arbel, are synths. They add the finishing touch, to a track which features ethereal beauty and thoughtful lyrics. It’s the prefect way to close Bob Lind’s comeback album Magellan Was Wrong, which was recently released by Big Beat Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records.

After a four year absence, Bob Lind returns with the best album since he returned to music in 2004, Magellan Was Wrong. It’s a tantalising taste of what Bob Lind’s capable of, and what record buyers missed out on, when he turned his back on music. Thankfully, Bob Lind is back, and has matured as a singer, songwriter and musician.

His lyrics are beautiful, celebratory, cerebral, poignant, reflective, rueful, thought-proving and wistful. Songs about love, love lost, returning heroes and the sands of time running dry, sit side-by-side with a cover Tom Paxton’s Bottle Of Wine. Often, the lyrics are also cinematic, vivid and rich in imagery, as Bob Lind unmistakable voice switches between musical genres. Bob Lind it seems, is just as comfortable singing folk and folk-rock as he is country, jazz or pop rock.

He’s a versatile and truly talented singer, songwriter and musician, who put all his years of experience into writing and recording Magellan Was Wrong.  It finds Bob Lind making up for lost time, after turning his back on music for thirty-three years. That was a great shame, and many would say a waste of talent. For too long, music was robbed of one its most talented sons. Thankfully, in 2004,Bob Lind Arlo Guthrie convince Bob Lind to play live. Since then, Bob Lind has been on the comeback trail. However, it took eight years before Bob Lind released a new album.

This was the critically acclaimed Finding You Again which was released in 2012. Since then, Bob Lind’s fans have eagerly awaited the followup to Finding You Again. They had to be patience, and recently, their patience was rewarded when Bob Lind released Magellan Was Wrong. The much-anticipated followup to Finding You Again has been well worth the wait. 

Magellan Was Wrong finds Bob Lind back to his very best. What’s more, Bob Lind still seems to be enjoying making music. That is apparent throughput Magellan Was Wrong, where Bob Lind’s joie de vivre shines through. Maybe Bob Lind has finally realised how lucky he his to be making a living out of music, and how much pleasure people get from his music? That I’m sure of.  Magellan Was Wrong is a must have for fans, and is  finds the comeback King, Bob Lind at his best, on what is without doubt, one the finest albums of his fifty-one year recording career.

BOB LIND-MAGELLAN WAS WRONG.

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